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So, what are the Mets' options?

Dec 23, 2009, 12:20 PM EDT

ESPN’s Buster Olney (and about a zillion other people today) note that the Jason Bay-to-the-Mets stuff is dragging on.  Rather than come up with new and exciting Mets jokes, Buster gets constructive and makes eight suggestions for adding depth and improving the team without blowing a big chunk of money on Jason Bay.  His ideas:

1. Sign Orlando Hudson;
2. Sign a cheap, defense-first outfielder like Randy Winn;
3. Sign Mark DeRosa
4. Get a reliever or two in the Bob Howry or Chan Ho Park mold;
5. Rotation filler like Jarrod Washburn;
6. Make an offer for Fernando Rodney;
7. Get a starter like Brett Meyers, Jon Garland or Vicente Padilla;
8. Make an offer to Joel Piniero.

Not sure if that’s really eight ideas given that two of them deal with getting a reliever and three of them deal with getting some back-of-the-rotation help, but at least someone’s thinking about how to make the Mets better. God knows Omar Minaya isn’t.

So whaddya all think? Kneejerk reaction: I like depth moves better than big splashes for a team like the Mets. I mean, if you’re going to blame every damn thing that happened in 2009 on injuries, why not improve the depth?

As for the specifics, I’m not sure how many of the pitchers Olney is serious about the Mets pursuing or if, alternatively, he’s just listing potential options, but New York could use someone who could pitch beyond Santana. I think DeRosa has become everyone’s go-to reference for depth and utility, but I think people are underselling the fact that he’s getting older, can’t play the middle of the infield much anymore and is asking for far more money than the spare-part DeRosa we all came to love a few years ago.

But those are merely my shallow nitpicks. Your thoughts?

  1. YankeesfanLen - Dec 23, 2009 at 12:45 PM

    When the second highest payroll franchise in baseball cannot come to any conclusion about anybody, they’re beyond my measly contributions.
    I’ll save them for a proactive club nearby.

  2. john pileggi - Dec 23, 2009 at 12:53 PM

    They are all worthy of some consideration, but I think some glaring problems pop up. Have they not been down the Chan Ho Park road once with nothing good toshow for it? And they seem to not want to sign Hudson until they can move Castillo (assuming someone will take the contract). They had a couple of cheap, defense first outfielders last year. The problem came when injuries made them first stringers on a club that lacked any punch. I guess, at the end of the day, these are all okay, with an assumption that they can sign Bay or Holliday, and get Molina to catch. Somewhere there is a trade that needs to happen as well. Omar cannot be a very happy guy right now.

  3. kcubrats - Dec 23, 2009 at 12:54 PM

    I guess targeting an individual whose price might fall below his value, like ODog, makes sense, if he can be had cheap. All the other Old Knee suggestions, like all of his speculations and essentially made up wishcasting rather than reporting (he gets paid for this?) are utterly pointless. Every pitcher he names is staff filler (or even staff poison like FRaud and Washbag and Padiddle), and that kind of wan mediocrity at best can be found wholesale, no point in paying market dollar for any of them now, just wait for the market to flounder and drop some more, then load up. Not when, but if a player like LaDouche finds himself on the outs, grab him late with incentive laden short term short dollar deal. If not? SEP. Imagine what Dunn OCab and Abreu would’ve done for the sMet last year if O-Mar had half a brain (ditto for, best JTKirk voice, Sabeaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!).

  4. Dan Somers - Dec 23, 2009 at 1:14 PM

    Sign Molina (C), Bay (RF), LaRoche (1B) and Damon (LF) for offense and Padilla or Piniero.

  5. BC - Dec 23, 2009 at 1:18 PM

    9. Minaya needs to resign immediately.

  6. John - Dec 23, 2009 at 1:23 PM

    Let me preface my comments by saying that I am a lifelong Yankee fan (since the Horace Clarke years) and have always enjoyed watching the Mets and their fans wallow in their misery. Not any more. I actually feel sorry for the Met fans now. Couple that with the fact that most Met fans are Jet fans…well, you get the idea. The Mets off season strategy clearly shows why the Mets are the Mets and the Yankees are the Yankees. The best team in baseball has gone out and made itself better. The Mets, in the midst of a downward spiral, have done nothing. While Met fans are hoping that moves will be made to make them competitive with the Phillies (who have also made themselves better), the focus will soon become trying like hell to not become the Nationals.

  7. Max - Dec 23, 2009 at 2:08 PM

    The DeRosa characterization is dead-on. He was underrated until 2008 and now he’s overrated mainly because no one admits that he’s not a particularly good fielder. I’d just as soon re-up Tatis for a fraction of the cost and for only one year.
    CHONE projections
    Tatis: 0.255 0.323 0.415
    DeRosa: 0.255 0.333 0.414
    If Buster is adding 3 major-league starters, he’s got to put Maine or Perez somewhere. Maine could go to the pen and we’d find out if he’s any less injury prone with a different workload. I have no problem with that. I’m a little mystified where Oliver Perez is starting the year in this scenario. I would’ve been glad had they traded him for Milton Bradley but the Mets are stuck with him now.
    An easy (and completely unlikely) in-house improvement would be to platoon Pagan and Francoeur in right field (it’s astounding how bad Francoeur is vs. righties). Another move, not an improvement but a way to save money would be to go with Blanco and Thole instead of Bengie “I hit for power and that’s it” Molina.
    You could take that $5M/year saved and tack it onto an offer to Holliday who I’m not so sure is going to be badly overpaid. And look, you have a good defensive left-fielder who happens to be an amazing hitter as well. No Randy Winn necessary.
    Bullpen: Dotel would be a better fit than Rodney. 1. He’s a better pitcher. 2. He’s an extreme flyballer and he’d be going from the Cell to CitiCavern.

  8. ecp - Dec 23, 2009 at 2:46 PM

    I read Buster, but, like pretty much everybody with ESPN who doubles as an on-air commentator, the thought processes sometimes seem to be lacking. Making moves for the sake of making moves is not usually a good thing.
    What is the point of signing Orlando Hudson when you have Luis Castillo?
    DeRosa’s salary demands are ridiculously exorbitant. Until he gets realistic I’d steer away. For a reasonable amount of money, say six million per, and no more than two years he wouldn’t be a bad pickup, though.
    Fernando Rodney? I guess he’s one of those guys who always gets interest, even though he’s below average. He’s the current poster boy for the “saves are a meaningless statistic” crowd.
    And yeah, breaking the starting pitchers into three different groups does not make the notion of “get starting pitching” three different ideas. HNow, I’m not as up on the Mets young pitchers as I could be, but don’t they have a bunch of starters already? After Santana, there’s Pelfrey, Perez (yuck, I know, but they’re stuck with him), Maine, Niese, Parnell. Or are some of these guys going to the bullpen or minors? Or just an uninspiring bunch that makes Mets fans covet another? Is there a real need here?
    Last, but not least, there is one thing the Mets should most certainly NOT do: Sign Bengie Molina for the two years / $12 million they have apparently offered, much less the three years / $20 million he supposedly wants.

  9. Dirck - Dec 23, 2009 at 2:55 PM

    Olney’s ” fixes” are exactly the type of knee-jerk stupidity that got the Mets into their current mess .There is not one single idea that he presents that makes sense .Every single pitcher that he mentions is a mediocrity at best .I like Hudson , but unfortunately he is redundant as long as the Mets are stuck with the albatross of Castillo’s contract . Overspending for middle relief is , in my opinion , the worst possible use of budget dollars other than overpaying aging mediocrities like Bengie Molina .The Mets should use a combo of santos and Thole at catcher and save the money they would waste on Molina . Take a flyer on a pitcher who might actually be good if he is healthy , like Ben Sheets or Duscherer . Winn and DeRosa only make sense as one year fillers if they will sign vey cheaply . I don’t see either one as an improvement over Angel Pagan .Do not go 5 years for Bay , if he can get a longer deal , wish him luck and bring up Fernando Martinez to learn as fourth outfielder .Russ Branyan might make an inexpensive power source at 1B . He was having an excellent year at Seattle before he got hurt and Ike Davis is close to being ready .Prayer would help also , Minaya should pray that Reyes , Beltran and Santana are healthy and that Ollie Perez , Pelfrey , and Wright have their heads out of their rear ends .

  10. Old Gator - Dec 23, 2009 at 3:58 PM

    The only problem with depth that the Mutts are going to have this season is the Gnats. Otherwise, they could sink all the way to the basement.

  11. YANKEES1996 - Dec 23, 2009 at 4:01 PM

    The advice of BC above should be taken and acted upon immediaetly, the fish stinks from the head down!!

  12. BennyN - Dec 23, 2009 at 4:30 PM

    Jon, there was no need to say you were a yankee fan, it was obviously stated in your comment. Your Met hatred is blatant, like many other Yankee fans. Yes, the best team in baseball in 2009 after almost a decade of terrible additions like Randy Johnson, Sheffield, Pavano, Igawa, Farnsworth, Giambi, Kevin Brown, just to name a few.
    So finally they buy 3 talented players who stayed healthy all year long and helped them win a Championship. Congrats, well deserved. iF injuries hit your best players, what do you expect? A few solid additions and some good luck and who knows where they are this year.
    Why must a Yankee fan = Met hater? Spare us your negativity, please.

  13. willmose - Dec 23, 2009 at 5:44 PM

    And where pray tell are the Mets going to get the money to do all this? If the Mets had any money to spend, they would have spent all foolishly by now.

  14. Doc - Dec 23, 2009 at 10:07 PM

    Benny- There is no doubt that the Yankees can overspend for their mistakes. Keep in mind that the Mets have a chunk of change as well. They just spend poorly. Your really don’t need to compare the Yankees and the Mets….it is simply embarrassing. The Mets have the ability to spend for a farm system and free agents but their decisions are stunningly inept. Omar needs to move on and new baseball minds need to structure the team for the stadium in which they play half their games. Pitching and defense will get them into the post season. Do you really think that the Mets rotation is comparable to the Phillies? Rant about the Yanks buying a team as much as you like but it doesn’t take away from the fact that your front office pays just enough to tease the fans but with just little enough intelligence and baseball acumen to leave your a snowballs chance in hell at .500 baseball.

  15. John - Dec 24, 2009 at 12:46 PM

    Benny – You are obviously a Met fan. Are you telling me that you do not HATE the Yankees with a passion? Every single Met fan I have ever known hates the Yankees. Are you the only one that does not? As for my supposed hatred of the Mets…I have never hated them. They have rarely ever been a significant enough issue for me to develop any hatred. However, their repeated ineptitude (both in the front office and on the field) has been a source of great entertainment for me over the years. Hatred, no…amusement, yes. Baseball in New York is much more fun when both teams are good. Doesn’t look like that is going to happen again any time soon.

  16. WARREN - Dec 24, 2009 at 6:16 PM

    METS…..TELL WILPON TO SELL THE TEAM……..FIRE MINAYA….
    RIGHT NOW THEY ARE IN TROUBLE……..SIGN WYNN OR THE MAN THE WAS A MET AND THEN A YANKEE IN RIGHT FIELD….FORGOT HIS NAME.
    SIGN PITCHING YOU CAN GET……..SHOULD HAVE SIGNED LACKEY
    FIRST…….WILPON IS TOO CHEAP……..MINAYA MUST GO……
    SIGN HUDSON AND KEEP CASTILLO AS A RESERVE…….
    M E T S ARE IN BIG TROUBLE….LAST PLACE FOR THEM THIS YEAR
    YES I AM A METS FAN………………

  17. G.H. Monroe - Dec 25, 2009 at 5:42 AM

    1. Gil Meche & Kyle Farnsworth For John Maine & Luis Castillo. Meche for Maine can Help both teams. Maine will be better as a reliever in KC and Meche will know how to pitch in spacious CitiField. Castillo for Farnsworth is a swap of problems with similar cost. At the very least Farnsworth is a psycho who will make other teams think twice before plunking Mets hitters. As Paul Wilson can attest, charging Farnsworth … VERY bad idea.
    2. Sign O. Hudson
    3. Sign Delgado to an incentice laden contract based on at bats.
    4. Go with Pagan, Beltran and Francuer in the OF … very solid defensively and Paga has never gotten a full shot. I don’t believe that .280 with 17 to 20 HR and 75 runs and 75 RBI is out of the question.
    5. Sign Piniero and select #5 starter from Niese, R.A. Dickey, Perez and Parnell

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